From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump says he’ll deliver a detailed speech on his proposal to crack down on illegal immigration on Wednesday in Arizona – but it’s anyone’s guess what he might say.
The announcement came late Sunday in a tweet by the GOP presidential nominee after days of wavering – and at least one canceled speech – on a question central to his campaign: Whether he would, as he said in November, use a “deportation force” to eject the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. illegally. On Sunday, led by vice presidential running mate Mike Pence, Trump’s surrogates fanned out across the televised talk shows to reiterate other parts of his proposal but none could answer that question. And they wouldn’t say whether it was worrisome that such a consequential proposal remained unclear so close to the Nov. 8 election.
In one case, the chairman of the Republican National Committee refused to speak for the GOP nominee at all.
“I just don’t speak for Donald Trump,” Reince Priebus said Sunday.
It was a striking look at Trump’s leadership of a team he had said would help drive him to victory against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The very purpose of surrogates is to speak for and back up their presidential nominee. But Trump’s stand-ins struggled to do so even as they stayed tightly together on the details they know: Trump will issue more details on the immigration plan soon, the policy will be humane, and despite his clear wavering, he’s been “consistent” on the issue. Any discussion of inconsistencies or potentially non-presidential tweeting, Pence and others suggested, reflected media focus on the wrong issue.